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Preservation in situ

Historic England, and its predecessor English Heritage, have produced technical advice on preservation in situ. This section provides an introduction to these documents.

Preservation in situ is the term used to refer to the conservation of an archaeological asset in its original location. It is often used to describe situations when a site is preserved as part of a development scheme, but can also refer to the long-term management of wetland archaeological sites. Critical to the success of any preservation in situ scheme is that the below-ground environment is understood fully, particularly before construction or land-use change begins.  Where development does take place over archaeological sites every effort should be made to minimise the impacts of this activity.

On 1 April 2015 the part of English Heritage represented on this website changed its name to Historic England. You may notice that some of our content still refers to English Heritage. We are in the process of rebranding, but in the meantime please be assured that all our content and guidance is still current. 

Historic England guidance

Our Piling and Archaeology advice note has been updated (April 2015) with new contact details, and the introduction covering planning regulations has been revised. A major revision of the document is planned for 2017.

Piling and Archaeology

Piling and Archaeology

Published 15 June 2015

This guidance note has been prepared to assist archaeological resource managers to make fast, informed decisions about piling schemes and their potential impact upon archaeology. It provides straightforward information on piling types, with mitigation suggestions supported by a research strategy and case studies.

Guidance on Assessing the Risk Posed by Land Contamination and its Remediation on Archaeological Resource Management

Guidance on Assessing the Risk Posed by Land Contamination and its Remediation on Archaeological Resource Management

Published 30 June 2005

Guidance on Assessing the Risk Posed by Land Contamination and its Remediation on Archaeological Resource Management

Forthcoming guidance: Preservation in situ, condition assessment and monitoring

We are currently producing guidance which will be published in the summer. The document covers the preservation of terrestrial archaeological sites and its purpose is to help the reader to identify the information needed in order to make informed decisions about future management strategies.

Key sections deal with condition assessment of archaeological materials and deposits, methods of assessing local water availability, and techniques of monitoring. Although it is mainly focused on the decision-making process resulting from proposed site development and land-use change, it will also be relevant to the long-term management of sites where no development or land use changes are occurring.

Other advice

Preservation in situ is also discussed in our guidance on Waterlogged Wood:

Waterlogged Wood

Waterlogged Wood

Published 1 April 2010

3rd Edition - Guidelines on the recording, sampling, conservation and curation of waterlogged wood

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